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What to Do About Cryptosporidium on Holiday

If you have returned from a holiday infected with Cryptosporidium or Gastroenteritis we suggest that you contact a travel lawyer for advice about whether you should make a holiday compensation claim.

Our cases studies detail how our lawyers have dealt with massive hotel outbreaks of cryptosporidium in Egypt, Turkey, Mallorca and the Canary Islands.

What is Cryptosporidium?

Cryptosporidium is one of the most common travel infections that we come across that affects holidaymakers.

Cryptosporidium is the name given to the microscopic infection that causes Cryptosporidiosis. It is usually contracted by consuming water that has been infected with human faeces. The most common cause for outbreaks of cryptosporidium at hotels tends to be the swimming pool. Sometimes however, the illness can be contracted if salads are washed in infected water, if drinking water is allowed to become contaminated, or through person to person contact.

Dirty pool water dangers causing cryptosporidium

Cryptosporidium - A Summary

Common clinical symptoms: Watery diarrhoea, sickness and stomach ache.

Treatment for Cryptosporidiosis: There is no specific medication for Cryptosporidium although you should consult your GP about your symptoms – he will probably tell you to keep hydrated and avoid alcohol. If you provide a stool sample and the test results come back as being "all clear" this does not necessarily mean that have not contracted Cryptosporidium. The infection is not always detected and the taking of medication may interfere with test results.

A negative test result does not prevent you from claiming compensation.

Knowing what type of bug has caused your illness can be helpful both in terms of receiving appropriate treatment and claiming compensation from your tour operator. Latest technology means that there is action that tour operators can take to ensure the swimming pool is not infected with cryptosporidium. If they think that a pool is infected, it will usually need to be closed for a period of 24 hours to ensure it is disinfected and backwashing takes place.

How Can I avoid contracting Cryptosporidium on Holiday?

When a hotel pool is infected with cryptosporidium it is extremely difficult to avoid as it cannot be seen and even a pool that appears to be clean may be contaminated. Owing to the speed at which a liquid stool will dissipate, even pool technicians may not know that the pool has been contaminated until swimmers test positive for the bug.

A pool that has cloudy water, contains debris or is poorly maintained may give an indication that hotel is failing to take its obligations towards its guests in respect of swimming pool hygiene safety seriously. If you become aware that a pool has been contaminated by faeces, you should be wary about using the pool as chlorine alone will not kill the bug.

Hotels should have an action plan in place for dealing with faecal accidents when they become aware of them. This will often involve closing pool for a period of time, removing the offending item and treating the water.

Hotels may be reluctant to close their pools or to report an outbreak of cryptosporidium to your tour operator for fear of bad reviews or for commercial reasons.

All too often we receive reports of instances where the hotel has:

  • Failed to take any or any prompt action, leaving the contaminated pool open for use
  • Tried to simply remove the contamination with a net or other such implement, leaving remains of the offending matter within the pool
  • Simply added extra chlorine to the pool (which will not remove the contamination)
  • Cordoned off a small section of the pool when the entire pool has been subject to contamination

We have even received reports of hotel staff sweeping vomit and poolside dirt into swimming pools and using swimming pools to wash furniture.

Holiday Hotel Watch

How do I know if there is an illness outbreak at my hotel?

Tell-tale signs of a hotel illness outbreak include:

  • Guests complaining at the reception/asking to see the hotel doctor
  • The public toilets at the hotel seeming particularly dirty and smelly
  • The swimming pool appearing cloudy and unhygienic as though the filtration system may not be working properly
  • Families appearing at the pool or the restaurant with "missing" party members - because they are too unwell to leave their rooms
  • The sudden installation of hand sanitisers in and around the hotel - especially at the entrance to hotel restaurants
  • The sudden closure of the swimming pool
  • The presence of men or women in "white clothes" performing tests on the hotel food and swimming pool water
  • Warnings from your holiday rep/leaflets in your room warning about the need for personal hygiene
  • Being asked by your holiday rep whether you have suffered illness during the course of your holiday

How we can Help You Claim Compensation for Cryptosporidium

We specialise in helping groups and individuals who become infected with stomach bugs during the course of their holiday to claim compensation. We suggest you make sure you exchange names and addresses of other people that were ill on holiday as it may not be until you return to the UK that your symptoms commence. If you are thinking about making a claim, through strength in numbers, your claim is more likely to succeed.

If you have been infected or suspect that you have been infected, we may be able to represent you in a compensation claim against your tour operator.

We offer free advice and in most cases can offer no-win-no-fee representation.

We are happy to respond to any enquiries and these can be made by calling 0808 145 1353 or by submitting an online enquiry through this site.

Dated: 29/01/2014

Author: © 2014